Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nine things to be thankful for as a financial advisor
We're Here For You!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope you have a wonderful day spent with family, friends, and great food.

As you know, Thanksgiving is a time for reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for. It occurred to us the other day that, as your financial advisors, we’ve never shared what we are thankful for. And we are thankful for a lot. 

So, if we can beg your indulgence, please allow us to share:

Nine things we are thankful for as your financial advisors

  1. Our country
    We’re thankful we live in a country where we have the freedom to set our own goals, choose our own paths, and pursue our own happiness. There are millions of people in the world who don’t have this freedom – a freedom we strive never to take for granted.
  2. Our military
    We’re thankful for the thousands of brave men and women who strive to protect that freedom, along with all the other unalienable rights we enjoy.
  3. Our community
    As financial advisors, we have come to know many different members of our community, including people from all walks of life. While no community is perfect, we truly believe ours is as beautiful, unique, and worth participating in as any in the world. We are lucky to live here – and we are thankful we do!
  4. Our modern world
    While sometimes it seems like modern technology causes as many problems as it solves, in our case, it has enabled us to help more people better – and faster! The fact that we can speak with you over the phone, send you an email or monitor your investments with just the push of a button is amazing. There’s more power in our cell phones than in the spacecraft that took Neil Armstrong to the moon – and that power is something we’ve come to rely on every day.
  5. Our health
    As financial advisors, one of the most important things we do is help people be secure financially so they can take care of themselves physically. It’s helped us become more appreciative of our own health. The simple fact we can leave our homes and go to work every day is no small blessing.
  6. Our job
    We are thankful we have a job that enables us to support our family and pursue our passions. We are thankful our jobs are our passions. Not everyone enjoys going to work every day. Not everyone has the opportunity to do what they love. But we do, and we will never stop being grateful for it.
  7. Our team
    While we all strive to be as self-reliant as possible, the fact is that no one succeeds in life without the help of others. That’s why we are so thankful for our amazing team. There has never been a group of people more dedicated and professional. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.
  8. Our families
    The older we get, the more we realize that family is what matters most in this life. A loving, supportive family is the richest fortune anyone can have, and in that regard, we are each rich indeed. In good times and bad, it’s our family who have cheered us on, propped us up, and pushed us forward. We love and cherish them all.
  9. Our clients
    We are thankful for you. Do you have any idea how lucky we are to work with clients of your character? How humbled we are to be entrusted with your financial success? How honored we are to help you in any small way we can?

The truth is, there are lots of people in this world we would not want to work with. But when we look through our list of clients, we are staggered. We have the privilege of serving some of the smartest, kindest, most decent human beings anyone has ever met.

People like you are why we do what we do. You’re the reason we never hit the snooze button. The reason we are happy to burn the midnight oil. There aren’t words to express how thankful we are for your business. For your trust. For your kindness. For you.

In other words, we are thankful to be your financial advisor. On behalf of our entire team, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

How Can We Help?

Annuities, Potomac, Annuity, Bethesda,  Annuity Advisor, Rockville, 

Market Commentary – June 10, 2019

Surprise! It was a great week for markets.
Since the U.S.-China trade conflict resumed in early May, investors have been off balance. The possibility of escalating tariffs on Mexico heightened economic uncertainty. Then, last week’s unemployment report arrived with less than stellar news – just 75,000 jobs were created in May. The number was well below expectations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised March and April employment numbers downward, too.1, 2, 3

We know investors hate uncertainty. So, why did major U.S. indices rally?

The answer may be hope. There was hope negotiations with Mexico would produce results and tariffs would be avoided. There was hope trade issues with China, in tandem with less-than-stellar economic news, would encourage the Federal Reserve to cut rates. There was hope lower rates would stimulate the economy and lift share prices higher.4, 5

Investors were right about Mexico and tariffs.

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported the United States and Mexico reached a last-minute agreement on immigration that takes tariffs off the table for now.6 It was good news. Before the agreement was reached, the vice president of the Center for Automotive Research told PBS NewsHour, “…the cost of a vehicle, a new vehicle in the U.S. is going to go up somewhere between $1,100 and $5,400 a vehicle…It will hit GDP, up to [a] $34 billion hit to GDP. And we would see almost 400,000 American jobs disappear.”7

Investors may be right about interest rates, too. Expectations for Fed rate cuts are rising. MarketWatch reported, “The fed fund futures market now show traders see a 72 percent chance of a rate cut at the Fed’s July 31 meeting, and an around 23 percent probability of a rate cut in the June 19 meeting.”8

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index each gained more than 4 percent. The Nasdaq Composite was up 3.9 percent.4

How much is the wedding going to cost you? You may not have noticed, but the average cost of weddings has risen sharply – and not just for the bride and groom and their parents. Costs have also increased for members of the wedding party and guests.9

One reason for rising costs is the popularity of destination weddings. One-quarter of weddings take place far from home, as couples opt for sunset weddings on the beach in the Virgin Islands or nuptials shared under blossoming cherry trees in Washington, D.C. and Japan. TripSaavvy.com reported:10, 11

  • The average destination wedding has a budget of $28,000 for 48 guests.
  • Guests spend almost $700 to attend. Of course, international venues may have a higher price tag.
  • The honeymoon cost for a destination wedding averages about $8,200.

In a Fox News opinion article, Liberty Vittert, Professor of Practical Data Science at Washington University, offered her thoughts:9

“Yes, we all know that the cost of weddings has become ridiculously exorbitant, at an average cost of $33,391 per wedding (that’s almost $240 per guest). Meanwhile, the median household income in the United States is $59,039. It is so common to see this preposterous amount of money spent that it doesn’t really faze me anymore…As a wedding guest to an in-town wedding, you need to account for clothing, transportation, gift, and (potentially) booze. That can easily amount to $300. If it is out of town, hold your horses. By adding in travel and accommodation costs, you can easily be up to $700…If you are in the wedding, just throw your wallet in the toilet and flush.”

If you have relatives you’d rather not see, having your wedding on a mountaintop in Patagonia may be a sound choice. More than one-half of those surveyed said cost would prevent them from attending destination weddings.10

There are other options. Couples could have small weddings near home or elope to exotic destinations and then have celebratory parties when they get home. Whoever is footing the bill would be able to bank the savings as an investment in the future.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
–Maya Angelou, Poet and author12

Best regards,
John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Most Popular Financial Stories

Bitcoin – There’s No There There

The Big Guys Move InOn September 13, 2022, the biggest of the big guys on Wall Street came out with a rather earth-shaking announcement. None other than Fidelity, Citadel Securities, and Charles Schwab have launched a new cryptocurrency exchange. In the words of the...

read more

EVs―The Next Big Thing

EVs―The Next Big ThingAn Interesting EmailWe recently received an interesting email from a reader of our RFS website. Katie Griffin is a Senior Communications Specialist at EcoWatch.org, a group devoted to disseminating information on the environment to help reduce...

read more

Special Message

Look! Have You Noticed? Listen to any politician or any news commentator these days, and they always begin a discussion or answer a question like this: Look, when I served in the Senate …. Look, as I wrote in my last column …. Look, if the Republicans won’t …. Look,...

read more

Special Market Update

Inflation is proving to be far more tenacious than financial markets had hoped.The idea that inflation peaked in March was put to rest last week when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that inflation accelerated in May. Overall, prices were up 8.6...

read more

Special Update

All,You undoubtedly have heard reports that the world’s supply of wheat and corn are in jeopardy due to Ukraine and Russia both missing this season’s planting window for obvious reasons (click the link above to read more details). Did you know that Russia...

read more

Significant Shrinkage

Significant Shrinkage Buffeted by Inflation Is it time to double check your household budget? Chances are the budgeted expenditures of the vast majority of Americans are about to get buffeted. Or so says the Oracle of Omaha. In the latest shareholder...

read more

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
1 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/weak-us-employment-report-raises-red-flag-on-economy-idUSKCN1T8086
2 https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2019/may/31/markets-trump-shock-mexico-tariffs-trade-war-china-brexit-ftse-100-business-live?page=with:block-5cf0f8d38f082f7da1f2b3e0#block-5cf0f8d38f082f7da1f2b3e0
3 https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
4 https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-rally-51559957870?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-10-19_Barrons-The_Dows_Big_Rally_was_Scary_and_Not_in_a_Good_Way-Footnote_4.pdf)
5 https://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/inside-the-vault/spring-2011/low-interest-rates-have-benefits-and-costs
6 https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-u-s-has-reached-deal-with-mexico-11559954306 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/06-10-19_WSJ-US_Mexico_Reach_Deal_to_Avoid_Tariffs-Footnote_6.pdf)
7 https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/trumps-mexico-tariffs-would-affect-u-s-consumers-would-they-also-slow-immigration
8 https://www.marketwatch.com/story/traders-now-see-75-chance-of-fed-rate-cut-in-july-2019-06-05
9 https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/liberty-vittert-millennials-weddings-spending
10 https://www.tripsavvy.com/wedding-statistics-and-honeymoon-facts-1860546
11 https://www.tripsavvy.com/what-is-a-destination-wedding-1864077
12 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/126888-love-recognizes-no-barriers-it-jumps-hurdles-leaps-fences-penetrates

Market Commentary April 1, 2019

“Fascinatingly counterintuitive…”
That’s how Michael Arone, an investment strategist, described the U.S. market environment to Avi Salzman of Barron’s:  “‘Stocks are rallying, but bond yields are reflecting much lower growth.’ Stocks rose during the quarter because the Fed backed away from raising interest rates, and investors grew more confident that the U.S. and China would sign a trade deal, Arone said. The market was also rebounding from a very rough fourth quarter – ‘conditions at the end of the year were wildly oversold,’ he noted.”

Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up more than 13 percent year-to-date, despite falling corporate earnings and modest consumer spending gains.

Consumer optimism may have played a role in U.S. stock market gains. The University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers Economist Richard Curtin reported:  “…the last time a larger proportion of households reported income gains was in 1966. Rising incomes were accompanied by lower expected year-ahead inflation rates, resulting in more favorable real income expectations…Moreover, all income groups voiced more favorable growth prospects for the overall economy…Overall, the data do not indicate an emerging recession but point toward slightly lower unit sales of vehicles and homes during the year ahead.”

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its report on economic growth in 2018 last week. Real gross domestic product (GDP), which is a measure of economic growth after inflation, was revised down to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. Growth was up 2.9 percent for the year, though, which was an improvement on 2017’s gain of 2.2 percent.

Slowing economic growth gives weight to bond investors’ expectations, while consumer optimism supports stock investors’ outlook. Divergent market performance and conflicting data make it hard to know what may be ahead. One way to protect capital is to hold a well-diversified portfolio.

how much does it cost to make money? You may not have given it much thought, but it costs money to make money. In fact, the costs of the metals required to make some U.S. coins is higher than the value of the coins! George Washington and Abraham Lincoln might not approve, if they knew. Take this quiz to see what you know about the cost and value of U.S. coins.

  1. How much did it cost the U.S. Mint to make a U.S. penny in 2018?
    1. 0.5 cents
    2. 1.25 cents
    3. 2.06 cents
    4. 3.0 cents
  2. How much did it cost the U.S. Mint to make a U.S. nickel in 2018?
    1. 1.25 cents
    2. 4.97 cents
    3. 6.03 cents
    4. 7.53 cents
  3. What makes a coin valuable to a collector?
    1. Metal
    2. Age
    3. Rarity
    4. All of the above
  4. Which of these coins is the most valuable to collectors?
    1. 1849 Coronet Head Gold $20 Double Eagle
    2. 1913 Liberty Nickel
    3. 1943-D Lincoln Wheat Cent Penny
    4. 1835 Classic Head Gold $5 Half Eagle

 

Weekly Focus – Think About It
According to the Federal Reserve, the estimated lifespan of a $10 bill is 4.5 years. The estimated lifespans of a $5 and $1 bill are 5.5 years and 5.8 years, respectively. A $100 bill may last 15.5 years because it circulates less frequently.

 

Answers:

  1. It cost 2.06 cents to make a one-cent coin that few people use. A group of citizens has been encouraging the government to retire the penny.
  2. It cost 7.53 cents to make a nickel in 2018.
  3. All of the above.
  4. The 1849 Coronet Head Gold $20 Double Eagle is worth more than $16,600,000. It is one of the rarest U.S. coins.

 

Best regards,
John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Most Popular Financial Stories

Bitcoin – There’s No There There

The Big Guys Move InOn September 13, 2022, the biggest of the big guys on Wall Street came out with a rather earth-shaking announcement. None other than Fidelity, Citadel Securities, and Charles Schwab have launched a new cryptocurrency exchange. In the words of the...

read more

EVs―The Next Big Thing

EVs―The Next Big ThingAn Interesting EmailWe recently received an interesting email from a reader of our RFS website. Katie Griffin is a Senior Communications Specialist at EcoWatch.org, a group devoted to disseminating information on the environment to help reduce...

read more

Special Message

Look! Have You Noticed? Listen to any politician or any news commentator these days, and they always begin a discussion or answer a question like this: Look, when I served in the Senate …. Look, as I wrote in my last column …. Look, if the Republicans won’t …. Look,...

read more

Special Market Update

Inflation is proving to be far more tenacious than financial markets had hoped.The idea that inflation peaked in March was put to rest last week when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that inflation accelerated in May. Overall, prices were up 8.6...

read more

Special Update

All,You undoubtedly have heard reports that the world’s supply of wheat and corn are in jeopardy due to Ukraine and Russia both missing this season’s planting window for obvious reasons (click the link above to read more details). Did you know that Russia...

read more

Significant Shrinkage

Significant Shrinkage Buffeted by Inflation Is it time to double check your household budget? Chances are the budgeted expenditures of the vast majority of Americans are about to get buffeted. Or so says the Oracle of Omaha. In the latest shareholder...

read more

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-s-p-500-is-off-to-its-best-start-since-1998-51553908143?mod=hp_DAY_1 (or go to https://www.barrons.com/market-data/market-lab
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu (or go to http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-spending/u-s-consumer-spending-soft-inflation-benign-as-economy-slows-idUSKCN1RA1EK
https://www.bea.gov/news/2019/gross-domestic-product-4th-quarter-and-annual-2018-third-estimate-corporate-profits-4th
https://www.usmint.gov/about/reports (Click on 2018 Annual Report, go to page 10)
https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/how-long-is-the-life-span-of-us-paper-money.htm
http://www.retirethepenny.org
https://www.usmint.gov/learn/kids/collectors-club/ten-facts-of-collecting#nine
https://www.usacoinbook.com/encyclopedia/most-valuable-coins/
https://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/4291/gold-20-double-eagle/coronet-head/1849-P/unique-smithsonian-collection/

Market Commentary – March 25, 2019

Wonder what the Federal Reserve’s 40-yard dash time is?
On Wednesday, the Fed juked like an NFL running back and left investors wondering whether they should buy or sell. Heather Long of The Washington Post reported the U.S. central bank:

  1. Lowered its 2019 estimate for U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent
  2. Announced its intention not to raise rates in 2019
  3. Indicated it will stop shrinking its balance sheet in September

Fed Chair Jerome Powell explained, “My colleagues and I have one overarching goal: to sustain the economic expansion with a strong job market and stable prices for the benefit of the American people. The U.S. economy is in a good place and we will continue to use our monetary policy tools to keep it there…We continue to expect that the American economy will grow at solid pace in 2019, although slower than the very strong pace of 2018.”

The Fed’s decision to adopt a looser monetary policy was informed by a variety of factors, including slower economic growth in the United States, China, and Europe, as well as unresolved policy issues like Brexit and ongoing trade negotiations.

Investors weren’t sure what to make of the Fed’s moves. Initially, major U.S. stock indices trended higher as investors celebrated the benefits of accommodative monetary policy. By the end of the week, though, many investors had changed their minds and fled to ‘safe haven’ investments, pushing long-term Treasury rates lower. Alexandra Scaggs of Barron’s reported:  “When short-term yields rise above long-term yields, it’s known as an inverted yield curve, which is seen even by central bankers as a sign that an economic contraction could be on the way…Benchmark 10-year Treasuries rallied Friday morning, driving their yields below those of the three-month U.S. Treasury.”

So, is recession imminent in the United States? It’s possible but unlikely. According to a source cited by Barron’s, the last six times the yield curve inverted for 10 days or longer, recession occurred within the next two years.

No matter how the economy and/or markets perform, it may not be a good idea to make sudden portfolio changes. If you’re feeling uncertain, give us a call. We can discuss changes you may want to make to your portfolio.

Scandinavia sweeps again. The 2019 United Nation’s World Happiness Report was published last week. The Finns remain the happiest people in the world. In fact, happiness in Finland has been trending higher since 2014.

People in Denmark and Norway also are happier than they were previously. The average score for the Danes increased by more than the average score for the Norwegians, so Denmark is now second and Norway third.

The report’s authors explained, “…the top countries tend to have high values for most of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity.”

The 10 happiest countries in the world, according to the report, which aggregated data on 156 countries from Gallup World Polls, are:

  1. Finland (7.769)
  2. Denmark (7.600)
  3. Norway (7.554)
  4. Iceland (7.494)
  5. Netherlands (7.488)
  6. Switzerland (7.480)
  7. Sweden (7.343)
  8. New Zealand (7.307)
  9. Canada (7.278)
  10. Austria (7.246)

Since the report began, happiness has increased most dramatically in Benin (#102), Nicaragua (#45), Bulgaria (#97), Latvia (#53), and Togo (#139).

The United States came in at #19. Overall, happiness levels in the U.S. have declined by almost 0.5 since the report was first issued. The report stated:  “Several credible explanations have been posited to explain the decline in happiness among adult Americans, including declines in social capital and social support (Sachs, 2017) and increases in obesity and substance abuse (Sachs, 2018)…I suggest another, complementary explanation: that Americans are less happy due to fundamental shifts in how they spend their leisure time…the way adolescents socialize has fundamentally shifted, moving toward online activities and away from face-to-face social interaction.”

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
–Mark Twain, American author

Best regards,
John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Most Popular Financial Stories

Bitcoin – There’s No There There

The Big Guys Move InOn September 13, 2022, the biggest of the big guys on Wall Street came out with a rather earth-shaking announcement. None other than Fidelity, Citadel Securities, and Charles Schwab have launched a new cryptocurrency exchange. In the words of the...

read more

EVs―The Next Big Thing

EVs―The Next Big ThingAn Interesting EmailWe recently received an interesting email from a reader of our RFS website. Katie Griffin is a Senior Communications Specialist at EcoWatch.org, a group devoted to disseminating information on the environment to help reduce...

read more

Special Message

Look! Have You Noticed? Listen to any politician or any news commentator these days, and they always begin a discussion or answer a question like this: Look, when I served in the Senate …. Look, as I wrote in my last column …. Look, if the Republicans won’t …. Look,...

read more

Special Market Update

Inflation is proving to be far more tenacious than financial markets had hoped.The idea that inflation peaked in March was put to rest last week when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that inflation accelerated in May. Overall, prices were up 8.6...

read more

Special Update

All,You undoubtedly have heard reports that the world’s supply of wheat and corn are in jeopardy due to Ukraine and Russia both missing this season’s planting window for obvious reasons (click the link above to read more details). Did you know that Russia...

read more

Significant Shrinkage

Significant Shrinkage Buffeted by Inflation Is it time to double check your household budget? Chances are the budgeted expenditures of the vast majority of Americans are about to get buffeted. Or so says the Oracle of Omaha. In the latest shareholder...

read more

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

 

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/03/20/federal-reserve-cuts-growth-forecast-predicts-no-more-rate-hikes/?utm_term=.3ead92852b27
https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents.htm (Video timestamp 0:15 to 3:00 minutes)
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/^DJI?p=^DJI&.tsrc=fin-srch (5-day chart or historical pricing)
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/^IXIC?p=^IXIC (5-day chart or historical pricing)
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5EGSPC?p=%5EGSPC (5-day chart or historical pricing)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-yield-curve-just-inverted-that-doesnt-mean-sell-stocks-51553267161?mod=hp_BRIEF&mod=article_inline (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-25-19_Barrons-The_Yield_Curve_Just_Inverterted-Thats_Not_as_Scary_as_You_Think-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://s3.amazonaws.com/happiness-report/2019/WHR19.pdf (Pages 22-27, 34-37, and 88-89)
https://www.goodreads.com/search?page=5&q=twain&search%5Bsource%5D=goodreads&search_type=quotes&tab=quotes

Market Commentary – March 18, 2019

Stock and bond markets rallied.
Last week, major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the 10th time in 12 weeks. Bond markets moved higher, too, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries dropping just below 2.6 percent, reported Randall Forsyth of Barron’s. Yields on 10-year Treasuries haven’t been this low since January 2018.

The simultaneous rallies are curious because improving share prices are often an indication of a strong or strengthening economy. Improving bond prices tend to be a sign of weakening economic growth, reported Michael Santoli of CNBC.

Why are U.S. stock and bond markets telling different stories?
It may have something to do with investor uncertainty. A lot of important issues remain unsettled. The British government appears incapable of resolving Brexit issues, the United States and China have not yet reached a trade agreement, and recent economic reports have caused investors to take a hard look at the U.S. economy.

Barron’s pointed out investors appear to be hedging their bets by favoring in utilities and other stocks that have bond-like characteristics and participate in the stock market’s gains. An investment strategist cited by Barron’s explained:  “The strength in utilities reflects the attitude of investors who ‘don’t really buy the rally’…While they’re skittish, they still want to participate in the stock market rally but opt for its most conservative sector.”

We’ve seen this before with stocks and bonds, according to a financial strategist cited by Patti Domm of CNBC. “It’s a little bit of a funky correlation. We’ve had both things rallying, which is strange. This is what happened in 2017, when all asset classes did well. In 2018, nothing did well…I would suspect it goes away soon.”

Times like these illustrate the importance of having a well-diversified portfolio.

Gen Xers and millennials: what are your priorities? The 2018 Insights on Wealth and Worth survey provided some startling information about the priorities of high net worth (HNW) investors. More than one-half (54 percent) indicated long-term capital appreciation was a higher priority than income generation. The other 46 percent were looking for steady income.

Let’s look at the percentages by age group:

  • Millennials: 56 percent capital appreciation / 44 percent steady income
  • Gen X: 56 percent capital appreciation / 44 percent steady income
  • Baby Boomers: 56 percent capital appreciation / 44 percent steady income
  • Silent Generation: 46 percent capital appreciation / 54 percent steady income

Millennials (ages 21 to 37), Gen Xers (ages 38 to 53), and Baby Boomers (ages 54 to 72) prioritize steady long-term income to the same extent.

Older investors, who are near or are in retirement, tend to emphasize steady long-term income because they need to maintain their standard of living in retirement. However, one of the advantages of youth is these investors have the time and flexibility to take on higher levels of risk and recover from any market downturns. In other words, younger investors prioritize capital appreciation (i.e., growth) while older investors prioritize income.

It’s important for younger investors to consider their life goals and how their finances may support the pursuit of those goals.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
–John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Best regards,
John F. Reutemann, Jr., CLU, CFP®

P.S.  Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this email with their email address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Most Popular Financial Stories

Bitcoin – There’s No There There

The Big Guys Move InOn September 13, 2022, the biggest of the big guys on Wall Street came out with a rather earth-shaking announcement. None other than Fidelity, Citadel Securities, and Charles Schwab have launched a new cryptocurrency exchange. In the words of the...

read more

EVs―The Next Big Thing

EVs―The Next Big ThingAn Interesting EmailWe recently received an interesting email from a reader of our RFS website. Katie Griffin is a Senior Communications Specialist at EcoWatch.org, a group devoted to disseminating information on the environment to help reduce...

read more

Special Message

Look! Have You Noticed? Listen to any politician or any news commentator these days, and they always begin a discussion or answer a question like this: Look, when I served in the Senate …. Look, as I wrote in my last column …. Look, if the Republicans won’t …. Look,...

read more

Special Market Update

Inflation is proving to be far more tenacious than financial markets had hoped.The idea that inflation peaked in March was put to rest last week when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that inflation accelerated in May. Overall, prices were up 8.6...

read more

Special Update

All,You undoubtedly have heard reports that the world’s supply of wheat and corn are in jeopardy due to Ukraine and Russia both missing this season’s planting window for obvious reasons (click the link above to read more details). Did you know that Russia...

read more

Significant Shrinkage

Significant Shrinkage Buffeted by Inflation Is it time to double check your household budget? Chances are the budgeted expenditures of the vast majority of Americans are about to get buffeted. Or so says the Oracle of Omaha. In the latest shareholder...

read more

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/why-investors-are-rushing-into-stocks-that-act-like-bonds-51552700368?mod=hp_DAY_4
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/14/stock-investors-wonder-whether-the-bond-market-knows-something-they-dont.html
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
https://www.barrons.com/articles/why-utility-stocks-are-worth-a-second-look-1531344310
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/06/bonds-and-stocks-going-up-together-could-be-signaling-market-at-an-inflection-point.html
https://ustrustaem.fs.ml.com/content/dam/ust/articles/pdf/insights-on-wealth-and-worth-2018/Detailed_Findings.pdf (Pages 3 and 39)
https://www.moneyunder30.com/asset-allocation-for-investors-under-thirty
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_f_kennedy_109216?src=t_risks

6Lc_psgUAAAAAA9c7MediJBuq3wAxIyxDSt73c9j